Received Tuesday, May 18, 2010
I have worked for a family in Manhattan with three little ones for about a year and a half. I have watched them grow and loved every minute of it. I am extremely hard working.
Last December, I went on a 14 day trip with this family of three (ages 16 months, 3 and 4 at the time). I am a christian and my family tends to see Christmas as a big family holiday, but I put that aside this year because I needed the money for school (this family is Jewish and had already finished celebrating Hannakah before we left; and they were aware that Christmas was at least slightly important to me.) The trip was from December 15 to December 28. I had been offered $100 a day which seemed low to me (especially with 3 young kids), but I had been on one other trip with them, a three day weekend, which went well, and where I had a two/three hour break in the afternoon (I would wake up around 7 with the kids, work until maybe 1, have a break until 3/3:30, and help until 7:30; a total of 9/10 hours, expenses paid. I did not have my own room, but rather a room adjacent to the children. (I also have 8 years experience and am CPR certified for the record!) During the trip in December, I was not given this afternoon time off regularly. I would wake up with the kids around 7 (sometimes 6), or even be woken sporadically at night by the baby, work until 2, and would rarely get 1 hour for a break, before I was on again until 8/8:30. I slept in the living room on the fold out couch. When Christmas rolled around, I was given an extra 45 minutes off at night. Three seperate times the parents went out at night, so I had to work those hours as well. When time came to be paid, to be honest, I was kind of hoping for some kind of tip. They HAD given me a yearly holiday bonus of $150 three weeks prior, yet I was hoping for something, even a mere $20 for working on a Holiday. Yet nothing.
During the year I am paid $15 an hour and work for them about 20 hours a week; I am called a 'babysitter' by them, not a nanny.
1) What is a good rate (an average rate, nothing super exciting) to pay a Manhattan babysitter who goes on a trip with you a day other than all expenses? I have a friend who makes $160 for two kids, and another that makes $110 for three and another that makes $225 for three... so it is very hard for me to gauge. This is taking into consideration that at least one parent is hands on with you for maybe half of the day. (Preparing breakfast for the kids while the parents sleep in, getting them dressed, getting together snacks, water and sunscreen, etc, taking them to the lake with the parents, playing with them with the parents, putting down one for her nap while the dad puts down the middle son for a nap, more play, helping prepare and feed dinner, bathing all three by myself, helping with bedtime routine as well as light housework, like loading and unloading the dishwaher and tidying up.)
2) Is it wrong of me to hope that I might be tipped on a Holiday I celebrate (and they know I celebrate)?